A manhunt is underway for a student at the University of Virginia after three people were shot dead and two others were wounded.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who allegedly carried out the shooting in Charlottesville, was described as “armed and dangerous” and the public was told not to approach him.
The university’s emergency management department issued an alert on Sunday night, notifying the campus community of an “active attacker.”
The message warned students to take refuge after reports of shootings, and multiple police agencies, including state police, began conducting searches.
Jones was listed as a football player on the college sports website in 2018 and did not play any games in his first year.
The identities of the victims have not been established and it is not known if they were students or staff.
“As of this writing, I am saddened to report that the shooting has resulted in three deaths; two other victims were injured and are receiving medical treatment,” confirmed the university’s president, Jim Ryan.
“It’s a message any leader wishes never had to send, and I’m appalled that this violence hit the University of Virginia. This is a traumatic event for everyone in our community.”
Following the incident, classes were cancelled on Monday and support was provided for students and staff.
Police continued to advise people to “shelter in place” while troops and helicopter teams continued to search for suspects.
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Officers “are currently conducting a full search of UVA grounds and surrounding areas. Enforcement is expected to increase. Stay put in place,” UVA police tweeted.
The attack is the latest shooting incident on U.S. college and school campuses in recent years.
The bloodshed has sparked a heated debate over tougher gun control laws in the U.S., where the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.
The 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) southwest of Charlottesville, left 33
In one of the deadliest mass shootings at a university in the country’s history, people, including the gunman, were killed and 23 injured.